Sunday, June 12, 2022

Masayo Koketsu - Fukiya (Relative Pitch Records, 2022)

Masayo Koketsu is a Japanese alto saxophone player who began playing at a very young age, soon collaborating and playing widely around the world. This is an album of unaccompanied saxophone, a continuous forty six minute spontaneous improvisation, which was recorded in Tokyo in November of 2021. Koketsu is patient in allowing the music to develop, not needing to fill up all available space, but allowing the drama of the setting to work in her favor. The saxophone playing alternates between quiet spacious tones and piercing high pitched qualities, overblown growls and fierce waves of sound. It is clear that she is in complete control of her instrument, and can use it to create the kind of narrative she is searching for. She has a deep and personal voice on the saxophone and it comes through here, with a raw and yearning feel, telling a deep story that runs throughout the length of this album. The music develops waves of sound waxing and waning, punctuated by literal screams of energy, and periods of complete stillness. The performance on this album is spontaneous yet thoughtful, filled with the type of empathy that only a musician who is fully attuned with her instrument and craft can bring. Fukiya -

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